Social Sip; Facebook Marketing Blog With Facebook Marketing Tips

AWESOME FACEBOOK CHECKLIST FOR THE NEW YEAR

Here is a fact to think about: The number one computer-related activity that people in the US do daily is SOCIAL MEDIA.  It tops checking email, file sharing and gaming.

What does this mean for your business? It simply means that now is the perfect time to plan your Facebook marketing strategy for the coming year! As a year-end post, I have created a checklist for you to help organize social media activity and welcome 2015.

Plan

PLAN OUT A CAMPAIGN THAT INSPIRES PEOPLE

If you want to achieve a greater response from your fans and new fans, think of a general campaign message that inspire people on a broad level.

THINK OF YOUR AUDIENCE

What kind of posts get the most engagement? If you’re not checking your Facebook insights to understand this- start there. Insights will allow you to review your most successful posts for the past year. You can repurpose the good content and recycle, or spin-off and develop a new strategy.

USE COMPELLING IMAGES TO TELL STORIES ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS

A picture says a 1000 words.  Images are powerful tools, use them to give your audience a visual of your mission or to showcase your customers and employees.

LAY OUT CONTENT TO TEACH PEOPLE HOW TO SOLVE PROBLEMS

A good content marketing plan is supposed to be a journey of learning. Valuable information is what keeps your followers sticking around and coming back to your page. Plan out a series of topics about your business that will help people.  Provide value and you’ll have a customer for life.

SIMPLE IS THE WAY TO DO IT

People in general have short attention spans… So it’s better to write short, meaningful words, blog posts and status updates. Use shorten URLs with bit.ly or another link shortening tool and avoid hidden messages.

Publish

Design great cover photos, especially for the occasion. Update your page with a great cover photo to start the New Year right.

USE ALL OTHER TYPES OF CONTENT

Aside from images, there are all kinds of content you can leverage for your Facebook page.  Videos are the #1 most engaging type of content – use them for client testimonials and to showcase How-To videos of your products.  You can also share links to other types of content that your fans and audience might like.

COMPLETE ALL FIELDS IF YOUR PAGE – ESPECIALLY THE ABOUT SECTION

If you created your Facebook page years ago, go back and make sure your profile is up to date.  You’ll want to make sure that ALL of the fields are completed.  This will make it easier for your audience to find you on Facebook and when doing Google searches. If you have a physical store, make sure to include your business address so a map can be generated on your About Page.

Hint: Use the Additional links field to take people to a specific page on your website.

CREATE AND SHARE POSTS THAT EDUCATE, ENTERTAIN AND EMPOWER YOUR FANS

Those are the most basic characteristics of a valuable post. If you are able to give your readers the content they want from your niche, then there will be no reason to hide you from their Newsfeed or unfollow your page as time goes on.

WRITE CRAFTY HEADLINES

Headlines like ad headlines, blog post titles, image text descriptions and video titles should serve one purpose: to catch the attention of your fans. Fans have so much noise in their newsfeed and with the new Facebook algorithm updates coming in 2015, you’ll want to create a headline that is going to STAND OUT!

ASK YOUR AUDIENCE

To maximize engagement, ask your fans to share their opinions.  Allow polls which will encourage people to choose their own answer.  You can also ask a question in your status updates that encourage people to answer – therefore, increasing engagement on your page.

GET SILLY

Posting something humorous from time to time breaks up the monotony of just posting information about your business and your products and services.  Get silly and post something that shows your personal side.

TIME AND FREQUENCY ARE ESSENTIAL

With Facebook Insights, you can check which times your audience are more likely to be online. And since Facebook posts have a short life span, (about 75% of post engagement happens for the first 5 hours upon posting) there are two essentials in posting: posting at the right time and regularly.

Boost

BE A TARGETING MASTER

Make sure you utilize the Ads Manager where you can get even more laser focused on choosing the best audience for your business.  You can also click Boost Post and while this has some efficient qualities, you lose some of the targeting capabilities you have when you create an ad in the Ads Manager or Power Editor.

Hint: Start targeting people who like competitor pages. You can also upload an email list and create lookalike audiences. Once you are comfortable with creating audience groups, you can save it as a custom audience.

WIELD THE THE POWER OF POWER EDITOR

If you want to understand Facebook Ads like a pro, then make sure you set aside an hour or two to learn more about using the Power Editor, a Chrome-plugin to help you make ads like a true Facebook marketing master. This is for a more advanced user and has more capabilities that the Ads Manager portal.

DEPLOY REMARKETING

Avoid wasted leads! Target visitors who visited your website, but left without signing-up or completing a sale. These people are already interested in your offer, so you can always include them as a custom target and remarket new offers.

Build a list

BUILD A LIST

Yes, the success of a Facebook page can be measured with page likes and engagement; but the real deal with building a Facebook page is to generate leads that will turn to real sales.  Make sure you are capturing email addresses from those that interact with your page.  You can do this by using Facebook App software tools such as 22Social.

OFFER THE RIGHT FREEBIE

To get your ideal leads, you must have the right offer. Study your market well and think of a specific digital tool you can create that fans can’t resist.  Think about creating a free e-book, a digital guide or a video series that not only helps fans, but promotes your brand.

SETUP AN AUTORESPONDER SERIES

Once you have captured the email addresses of those that have downloaded the freebie, follow up with an autoresponder email series to introduce them to you and your business. These pre-scheduled messages aim to build rapport, boost credibility and introduce your products or services.

Engage

CREATE MULTIPLE FACEBOOK GROUPS

Group pages are highly-recommended for building stronger relationships with followers. You can build several groups for your email list, hot leads, coaching groups and business partners.

When you work with premium members, a private Facebook group provides a more “at home” feel with you and your program. Whereas email subscribers will benefit more with public groups in which members can invite other friends to join. With Facebook groups you maintain a closer relationship with customers.

NETWORK YOUR WAY WITH OTHER GROUPS

Join groups to widen your presence and follow other brands related to your business.

BE REAL

Post, comment and reply as you would personally. Keep your mind open to what people are saying as their feedback or criticism are as valuable as a praise. Put a person behind your company and make people connect with you. Be a human.

BE POLITE AND HONEST

As any company would do, always practice social media etiquette. Be polite and respond to positive AND negative comments/posts.

Measure

SPLIT-TEST YOUR ADS

Run several ads for a certain time and pause the ones that are not performing well, while letting the more successful ones continue.  Switch out new copy and images for ads that are not performing well.  Still not performing?  Make sure you are testing different audiences and that your creative speaks directly to that specific audience!

Check out Insights

People tend to shy away from the data.  I get it…most people hate numbers.  But without this knowledge, your page isn’t ever going to perform at it’s optimal level.

Get in there and get educated on which posts are performing best.  Understand your demographics so you can create posts and ads that are targeted.  Check out what time of day your fans are online and adjust your posting schedule.

OBSERVE YOUR COMPETITION

You can learn a lot from your competition. One easy way is to watch competitor pages using Pages to Watch. You can add up to 100 pages at a time so you can observe how they grow their page likes, engagement and strategies. You can discover what post content, post types and times work.

Another trick is to add them to your interest list. You will need to like their pages first then click the options down-arrow to add them to your interest list.

I sure hope this list helps you get smarter about the way you are using Facebook to market your business and wish you luck for you and your business in the new year.

Happy New Year to you and wishing your business prosperity in 2015!

2015

3

5 WAYS TO USE FACEBOOK ADS FOR THE HOLIDAY

Holiday season is here and I created a quick, last-minute guide to using Facebook Ads to help you grow our business during this time of year. Just follow these few tips and watch your Facebook ads deliver!

5 WAYS TO USE FACEBOOK ADS FOR THE HOLIDAY

Let’s assume that you have set up at least a few ads on Facebook before.

1. MAKE A CALENDAR AND WORK BACKWARDS

Taking note of important dates especially those crazy shopping holidays. This will enable you to determine execution and delivery timelines, including the best dates are to post for your business.

2. HAVE CLEAR MARKETING GOALS JUST FOR THE SEASON

After setting up your calendar, try creating achievable goals for the season.
Do you want more page likes?
An increase in brand awareness?
More visits to your website, local store or office perhaps?
Increased sales?

Or, maybe you have a new product or program to introduce for 2015. You name it! Use these goals and then align them to your calendar.

3. HAVE FUN WITH CONTENT

This is the season to be lighthearted, creative and festive so come up with a few different festive holiday images for ads, offers, sponsored posts ads and landing pages. Here are some  examples of when to use seasonal imagery:

  • Use images as choices for insight-seeking poll questions
  • Post virtual greeting cards, rewards, coupons and announcement posters.
  • Run fun contests that will make people submit content to you (photo & video contests)
  • Giveaway something exciting and compel readers into real conversion!

4. ADJUST TO THE RIGHT AD SETTINGS: TARGET LOCALLY

During the holidays make sure you target locally, with the right age group. If you have a month-long promotional activity, then schedule how many days as well as the optimal times your ads are going to run in a local setting vs nationally and vs other parameters.

5. COMMUNICATE LIKE A REAL PERSON – NOT LIKE A BUSINESS

People will be more active on Facebook this month so take advantage of increased outreach from potential customers. Communicate with them through comment replies or private message (PM) as a live person – a real connection. Continue supplying your Page with engaging content to support your paid ad efforts and watch your business grow!

Enjoy the holidays!

Merry Christmas!

FACEBOOK INTRODUCES VIDEO ADVERTISING IN MOBILE APPS

Facebook recently introduced a new type of video ad, which focuses on driving mobile app installation. This feature is a part of Facebook Mobile Apps which brings more interactivity to the newsfeed, where customers can click and play the video before installing a particular app.

Now, developers can use videos to drive customers to a Google Play Store or Apple Apps Store within Facebook. This allows users some preview on the product before installing the app.

Videos are proven to boost engagement in the Facebook news feed, so it seems natural to test this out for app installs as well.

The brand Double Down Casino was the first partner to test the advantages of the new feature. John Clelland, Vice President, Interactive Marketing for DoubleDown Casino says that using videos on the ads resulted to increase in installs, while the company costs per install has decreased. This is indeed a proof of greater opportunities in mobile app marketing.

Lately it’s becoming a trend for developers to utilize Facebook as an alternative channel to Google Play and the Apple Apps Store to widen reach among target users. This is particularly true to free-to-play games.

Successful Facebook ad campaigns requires the most compelling copy to drive leads. Facebook recommends videos that showcase the best characteristics of the app, user experience, game instructions or screenplays.

Bonus: The videos are not set to play automatically on the newsfeed, just like other shared video contents, so it is less likely to receive negative comments.

Facebook Ads has also simplified the way advertisers buy mobile app ads. This is by providing options for bidding and optimizing mobile app installs. Facebook has now introduced the cost per action (CPA) bid, which helps advertisers manage their ad budget better, maximizing costs per installs. Through this bidding, advertisers are only charged when a user downloads and installs the app, providing more control on spending in mobile app campaigns.

Based on beta tests, buying on CPA costs per install is 20% cheaper compared on buying on CPC or Cost Per Click. In order to start bidding CPA, advertisers will need to track the number of installs on a ad campaign. You can do this by integrating the ad campaign with Facebook SDL or get a mobile analytics partner.

As of now these new features will be gradually introduced to developers and advertisers who are promoting mobile apps installs and not yet to general users.

So what do you think? Excited about this latest news? How will you use this for your business?

UNDERSTANDING FACEBOOK METRICS THAT MATTER

Reviewing Facebook metrics can sometimes leave you confused. Data and numbers change all the time and I’m sure this is one task you prefer someone else to do for you- even I do at times!

Facebook Insights are loaded with tech terms, numbers, graphs and dates. Fear not! It can seem overwhelming if you don’t know what to look at, so allow me to simplify the process and point out which items should really matter to you.

THE INSIGHTS DASHBOARD

Facebook Insights

Your Facebook Page Insights is the tab/area to visit to learn more about your metrics and page data. This section is activated when at least 30 people like you page.

  • To find your Page Insights, click Insights at the top of your Page.
  • Once on the Insight page, view the metrics about your Page performance by clicking the sections at the header.
  • To export your insights data, click Export in the top-right corner. You may want to do this to share with a marketing expert or to archive for your own files.

What Do You See In The Insights Dashboard?

  • Likes – How many people like your page in a week.
  • Post Reach – Reach is the number of unique people who received impressions of a Page post. Reach might be less than impressions, since one person can see multiple impressions.
  • Engagement – How many people like, comment, share and click links of your posts on a weekly basis.

So out of all of that, what really matters?

1. Fans

Your Fans tab are the people who liked your page. You can find this by clicking People tab.

Facebook Insights

Facebook curates data on Gender, Age, Country, City and Language. Although Facebook privacy rules state Page admins cannot view detailed personal data, Insights has made statistical data for you to get a profile of your general audience.

Facebook Insights 2

In this screenshot, notice that my Page attracts both men and women almost equally, and most of them are between 25-34 and 35-44 years in age.

WHAT DOES IT TELL ME?

This tells me to prepare content that speaks directly to the majority of the demographic who follows my page. In this example, the audience group suggests young-middle age adults; educated and professional, both male and female, who follows my page to learn more about Facebook marketing.
So when developing content my style and tone should address that type of audience.

2. Engagement

People Engaged refers to the people who have liked, commented on, or shared your posts or engaged with your Page in the past 28 days.

So in this figure, women who are between 35-44 years old seem to engage more frequently on my Page posts.

WHAT DOES IT TELL ME?

If you look you see I have an equal number of men and women liking my page, but it is the women who are sharing the buzz… maybe I can improve engagement by posting content that is more appealing to men? Or, when I promote something on my Page using Facebook Ads, perhaps I only focus on women to share content.

3. Timing 

Under the Post tab, you will see a section called When Your Fans Are Online. This is one of my favorite things to look at because it tells me what time of the day fans are online in a week.

HOW DOES THIS HELP?

This insight helps you to schedule posts and ads during the optimal times your audience is on Facebook.

4. Types of Posts

Facebook Insights 5

Also under the Posts tab, you can find a table list of every post to your page over the last few weeks, the types of post and their engagement metrics.

Facebook Insights

Facebook Insights 7

Facebook Insights

Facebook Insights

WHAT DOES IT TELL ME?

Looking at the type post is important, since it will give you an idea what type of content your fans like. This could be photos, a link, videos or status update. Generally, photos receive the highest engagement on Facebook and fans enjoy graphics.

5. Where People Click

On the Likes tab scroll down until you see the ‘Where Your Page Likes Happened’ graph. Remember that Your Page can be liked even without loading your Page. For example, the Like button can be found on paid ads, Page suggestions, as well as like box widgets on other websites.

On this chart you’ll also see the like sources:

  • On your Page – Someone hits the like button on your Page.
  • Ads and Sponsored Stories- Someone hits the like button of a Facebook Ad.
  • Page Suggestions – News Feed shows suggestions of pages or posts to like.
  • Mobile – Someone clicked “like�? from a mobile device.
  • Others – Like box widgets or links found on other places like 3rd-party apps or websites outside Facebook.

WHAT DOES IT TELL ME?

This helps you to discover where do most people click the like button. From here optimize your ads.

To recap, here are a few things to consider when looking at your insights and metrics:

  • Know your fans. Who are your attracting?
  • Pay attention to engagement. Who can help you spread the buzz?
  • Timing is key. Determine the best time of day to post content.
  • Types of posts matter. Understand the posts your fans are engaging with and why.
  • Where do likes come from? Where can else you optimize your page presence to be liked?

Focus on these numbers and don’t get distracted by the vast amount of date in your Facebook Insight dashboard. If you need more help deciphering what really matters, I’m always here to help.

HOW TO USE FACEBOOK ADS TO GET MORE CLIENTS

Facebook advertising is one of the most easy-to-use digital ad platforms available to businesses today. With a little review and practice, even you, a real estate pro, can drive steady leads to your Page, App or website.

But, before diving into a Facebook ad campaign I highly recommend you take some time to think of the specific goals you want the campaign to achieve.

You’ll want to decide whether you want people to “like” your brand (to grow your fan base), install an App (to use your product or service) or go directly to a website (to take another action such as filling out a lead form, or purchasing). In order to help you identify the best type of Facebook ad campaign to set up, you should:

1. IDENTIFY YOUR AUDIENCE

Who are the ideal people you’d like to reach? Those who would most likely click your ad and especially those who would most likely act on your call to action are the ones you want to target. What are their interests and demographics?

2. SECURE COMPELLING GRAPHICS

What will be your ad content? Do you have the right text and images to attract your target audience? Images need to be visually appealing while the text needs to attract an action.

3. CREATE AN AWESOME LANDING PAGE

If you are sending leads to your custom Facebook Tab or website landing page, what should it say for people to give you their contact information?

4. DETERMINE YOUR BUDGET

Aside from determining a budget, you have to be able to come up with a certain benchmark number that will make you say that you’ve had a return on investment (ROI) for your time with the ads you’ve set up.

FACEBOOK ADS OVERVIEW

A Facebook Ad is an online paid advertisement that can be seen in one of three places:

  • Right Hand Column on Desktop Computers
  • Desktop Newsfeed
  • Mobile Newsfeed

A published Facebook Ad usually consists of 4 parts:

  • Headline
  • Description
  • Media: Image, or Video,
  • Link to landing page: Page, Post, Website or Events

Why Should You Use Facebook Ads for Your Real Estate Business?

  • To sell more houses
  • To get more listings
  • To create a loyal fan base

If you are a real estate professional that keenly wants to target real people such as your friends and people who live, work or interested in your city, then Facebook Ads are for you! Let’s get started.

HOW TO FIND AND USE THE FACEBOOK ADS MANAGER

1. YOU WILL NEED TO USE YOUR PERSONAL PROFILE TO ACCESS FACEBOOK ADS. FROM THE LEFT SIDEBAR OF YOUR FACEBOOK HOME PAGE, CLICK ADS MANAGER. ON THE ADS MANAGER PAGE, CLICK THE BIG GREEN ‘CREATE AD’ BUTTON.

Facebook Ads
2. CHOOSE YOUR FACEBOOK OBJECTIVE. WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO DO?

facebook ads
3. TARGET THE RIGHT AUDIENCE. YOU CANNOT TARGET WELL ON FAFCEBOOK IF YOU HAVEN’T IDENTIFIED YET WHO YOUR TARGET MARKET IS. MAKE SURE TO HAVE A DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF BUYER AND AUDIENCE DEMOGRAPHICS: GENDER, AGE, COUNTRY/ CITY, LANGUAGE, AND DEVICES. THIS WAY, YOU CAN OPTIMIZE YOUR BUDGET SPEND TO THE AUDIENCE THAT MATTERS MOST TO YOU.

facebook ads
4. YOU MUST KNOW AD TYPES THAT WILL HELP GET THE CLIENTS YOU WANT. BELOW IS A LIST OF ALL THE DIFFERENT KIDS OF ADS YOU COULD RUN VIA FACEBOOK:

PAGE POST ENGAGEMENT AD

A sponsored post thats used if you want people to see your announcement, promo or story more prominently on the News Feed. You can increase likes, engagement or clicks to your link with this kind of ad. You can upload a photo or video to make your post more interesting.

PAGE LIKES

This kinds of ad is commonly used to increase awareness of your brand page by encouraging fans to “like” and follow your Page. This a good choice if your page is new or you want to boost the number of your fan base.

CLICKS TO WEBSITE

This is an ideal choice if you want to drive your fans off Facebook to your website for lead capturing.

EVENT RESPONSE ADS

Sponsored Events is another type of ad that will drive ideal people to attend your Open Houses, webinars or consultations.

MORE FACEBOOK ADS TIPS: HOW TO NAME YOUR CAMPAIGN, SET YOUR BUDGET AND PLACE YOUR AD

  1. Facebook will choose a default name for your campaign. Click on Change Campaign to edit.
  2. Choose a name for your Ad Set
  3. Choose a budget – you can choose as low as $1 a day – that’s only $30 a month to get in front of more fans and generate leads!
  4. Bidding – Facebook will offer a default bidding option based on the type of ad you are running.
  5. Review Your Order
  6. Click on the green PLACE ORDER button!

ADDITIONAL TIPS!

First and foremost, quality ad content is still paramount to any marketing campaign.Remember, you want to spark curiosity and avoid hard-selling. People hate seeing spammy, sales-looking ads. Be creative! You can use humor, amusing or inspirational stories, current events or interesting information to get your message across without pushing people to set an appointment with you.

Also, give clear CTA’s. People are busy, so get straight to the point. Let people know what you really want them to do: Click the link, like your post or fill out a lead capture form. Write quality ad content that speaks directly to your audiences.

Finally, be sure to offer something of value.The best way to get the qualified leads you want is to offer them a proposition that is of value to your audience, combining with brand message and value.

There is a lot to take in and learn when it comes to Facebook Ads, but you can do it! If you’re still stuck, check out this post I wrote that includes a 5-step guide to Facebook Ads.

Want to learn more on how to use Facebook to get a consistent source of leads online? Sign up for my FREE video series FB Real Estate Pro!

TOP 10 EXCITING HOLIDAY CONTEST IDEAS FOR YOUR REAL ESTATE PAGE

Oh dear! The holidays are just around the corner.

Which means now is the perfect time to think up a holiday-themed contest for your real estate Facebook Page.

That is why I’m sharing with you 10 different ways your business can engage with customers this holiday season.

These hopefully will help you make a great Facebook contest for your fans!

WHY RUN A CONTEST?

Brands host contests on Facebook for many reasons including a product or service launch, milestone or giveaway. For real estate agents, you may want to consider a contest so you can:

  • Create Awareness about your business
  • Drive traffic to your Page
  • Refer friends to view real estate listings
  • Invite people to attend your open house events or Facebook events
  • Entice clients to call you to set up a meeting

Once you decide on the goal, next move on to the topic and type of contest.

GENERAL TOPIC IDEAS

You can create a contest around any Holiday theme. Take a look at some of these examples to get you started:

  • Holiday items: Best holiday decorations, favorite food, costumes or dress,
  • People: Kids, Caption this! (photo), holiday parties with family or friends
  • Animals: funniest, cutest, adorable, animals with people, etc.
  • Places: Best City To Spend the Holidays
  • Fill in the blank: All I want for Christmas is…? I want to spend the holidays in  [insert your city] because…”, “I want to spend the holidays with [insert name]”

What is important is that you come up with a topic that is meaningful to your audience.

PRIZE IDEAS

Depending on budget capacity, prizes should be irresistible and valuable to your target participants. This will ensure participation from your fans.

  • Freebie Items: Things such as branded novelty items to gadgets like USB sticks, mobile phone covers and Notebooks.
  • Events: Like an “exclusive” Open House Party invitation to one of your most high-end listings.
  • Complementary services: You can offer to waive or discount fees for valuable services like loan assessment, remodel planning, professional photography, 3rd-party house inspections, etc.
  • Discount coupons or gift cards (for attending an open house) for commoditieslike gas, meals at  a nearby restaurant, free massage/ spa treatment or selected     products from a home improvement store.

USE UNIQUE SOCIAL MEDIA HASHTAGS

When you choose to run a contest that requires fans to share content as entries (photos or videos or status posts), make sure that all entries include the unique hashtags you prepared prior to launching the contest. Do some research and check to see that the hashtag (a phrase or keyword such as #100daysofgifts) isn’t already used by a brand, and that it makes sense for your goal.

The hashtag is a great way to easily track contestants. Just click the hyperlinked hashtag and a pop-out window will show all posts on Facebook that have included the #hashtag.

TIP: Usually your business name or top keyword are part of the hashtag.

10 EXCITING CONTEST IDEAS FOR YOUR PAGE

Sweepstakes
Sweepstakes are one of the easiest contests you can do on Facebook. You will need to create a form so fans can enter their email addresses and join the electronic raffle. Allow many winners for smaller prizes and one enticing major prize.

Photo contest
Photo entries should be consistent with your contest theme. You can also add specifications like minimum size, file format, image resolution, restricting photo-editing to text overlays, and number of entries.

Voting contest
You can create a poll question in which people vote for 2-3  choices. At the end of the contest check entries for the one with the highest number of votes and then draw your winners from there. You may also need photos that represent the voting choices to help the people decide.

Essay contest
Create an emotionally-meaningful prompt that excites fans to enter. They can use a Note from Facebook or upload texts into your custom-made form. You will also need to set word count limits.

Coupons
This is best for mobile users. Electronic coupons are best distributed through mobile content like QR codes or SMS text message fans can bring with them and show when claiming their prizes.

Group Coupons
Since it will be a challenge for the contestants to come up with a group entry, offer hard to pass-up prizes such as steep discounts and free gadgets for more entries.

Refer a friend
Entice people to promote your business for you! Offer an amazing prize that will get people buzzing and willing to refer 3-5 more friends for your campaign. Make sure you have an email gate-entry form ready.

Caption this!
Another easy and fun contest for Facebook! Post photos of animals or a fun scenario related to your holiday theme and get fans to compete for writing the caption. These types of contest can generate a lot of buzz!

Music video/Caroling
What could be a better way to celebrate the holidays than with music? Have fans submit their creative homemade videos or audio recordings of a seasonal tune. Then open the entries in a gallery for people to vote for the winner.

Video contest
Come up with a fill in the blank topic like, “What are you most grateful for this holiday season?” and let your fans submit their response in a video.

TIPS AND LOGISTICS FOR RUNNING CONTESTS ON FACEBOOK:

  • Set a time frame for the submission of entries, drawing the winners and deadline for claiming prizes.
  • Make a list of possible prize sponsors which are located in your city and create a deal with them.  This could be restaurants, coffee shops, retail stores or gas stations. That way, winners can actually have the opportunity to see what other amenities your city or real estate territory has to offer when they come to and claim their prize.
  • Target participants well and research to find the most enticing prizes that they will deem valuable.
  • You can hold mini-contests on a weekly basis for smaller prizes, then the non-winning participants can be eligible for the grand draw/ judging day later in the month.
  • Make sure your contest themes is fun!
  • Make contest procedures a bit challenging; but still doable.
  • Make sure rules and guidelines are concise in order to avoid misinterpretation and confusion.

WHAT WILL YOU NEED TO RUN A CONTEST:

  • A good plan on how to run your contest.
  • Contest graphics with clear rules and call to action.
  • An updated cover photo for your Facebook Page.
  • custom tab or media album to show the gallery of entries for your Facebook page.
  • Facebook Ads if you have budget to promote your contest.
  • Your prizes and winners with their photos – of course!

Important Note:

Most Facebook contest are usually run in a way that requires contestants to upload their entries from their personal profiles and get “likes” from family or friends.

However, when you do this it does not result in many leads for your real estate business. So, you may want to suggests contestants reach out beyond their family network.

Since the goal or running contests like these is to get a fresh list of contacts, you want to consider having contestants fill out an entry form to be eligible to join, instead of “likes” to a post or page.

So what do you think? Do you have an idea for how you can host a holiday contest?
Share with me in the comments below!
Then sign up for my FREE video series FB Real Estate Pro and get instant access to 3 helpful videos that will help you grow your list!

YET ANOTHER FACEBOOK UPDATE – FACEBOOK EVENTS

READY FOR ANOTHER FACEBOOK UPDATE?

Get ready for another improvement, this time from Facebook Events!
As part of this update you’ll see changes on News Feed ads for Events, the addition of Event insights and improving the look and feel of Event pages.

All of these updates aim to boost awareness of Facebook Events and response rates of every event created.

Facebook explained the rationale behind the improvements on their news blog:

“Every month, 400 million people around the world use events on Facebook to discover and connect with everything from parties with friends to things happening in their communities. And nearly 30 percent of all the events people connect to – like concerts, community events and special nights at bars and restaurants – are created by pages.”

“IN THE COMING WEEKS”

Page admins will be able to create right-side panel ads for Events on behalf of their businesses. This can be done via the ads create tool in Ads Manager, as well as the Power Editor.

Here’s a sneak peak of how the new event ad will look:

A CLOSER LOOK AT YOUR EVENTS

Also, hosts can now see metrics on how their Event posts are performing. Admins can view metrics in the right-hand column of an Event page. Insights will show:

  • The number of people who’ve seen a link to the event on Facebook
  • The number of people who’ve viewed the event
  • The number of people who have engaged with the post (clicked, liked or joined)

Facebook describes these changes in a blog post:

“To make it easier for businesses to reach even more people for their events, we’re announcing new features that help Pages promote their events and see how they’re performing.

In the coming weeks, Pages will be able to create ads for desktop and mobile News Feed that boost awareness of events and drive responses. Previously, these types of ads were only shown in the right-hand column on desktop.”

Plus, all you need to do is click Boost Event to make your event an ad! It’s super simple and an easy way to get more eyeballs viewing your event.

HOW TO HIGHLIGHT YOUR EVENTS

You can also customize your Page tabs to further increase your fans’ awareness of Events in a single view. To do this, simply click the “More” menu on your page and reorder the tabs so Events is one of the first to appear.

People using Mobile can simply scroll through the Upcoming Events of their Facebook account to check what’s happening around town in the coming weeks.

Lastly, Facebook has improved the look and feel of each of the users’ Events page. Users can now see upcoming events, the ones they are hosting, as well as their saved events, just in case you want to follow an event without attending. This area now also includes a list of suggested events based on the pages you’ve liked, location and the day of the week.

What do you think of Facebook’s new updates? Have you seen them yet?

Are you using Facebook Events in a creative way?
Share in the comments below!

How to Use Facebook Apps to Sell More Houses

A Facebook page is great to have to not only to boost your reputation as a professional, but to actually make that sale.

One way you can do this is to optimize your page using Facebook Apps. On a Facebook Business Page Apps are located on the left hand side under the cover photo and represented by small icon tabs. You can also reach Apps by clicking “more” under your Cover Photo menu bar.

Apps can be customized and rearranged according to the needs of your page. Read more on how do to that here…

Important things to know about Apps:

By default, tabs appear below your cover photo.

Three of these icon images can be swapped out with a custom image to match your brand. However, some icons like YouTube or the photo app will always be in the first position and cannot be changed.

They way you create custom apps is via the Facebook Apps marketplace or through a third party app designer or tool. Take a look at real estate businesses such as Zillow’s listing apps for examples.

You can have up to 12 apps for your Page, but ideally you only want to have 3-4.

Why you should use Apps?

Apps are designed to tailor-fit to the needs of any business. Specifically for real estate apps can be used to:

  • Build your list
  • Build equity in your brand
  • Run promotions and increase engagement
  • Feature your real estate listings
  • Link other social media efforts such as Twitter or Instagram to your page

However, not all Facebook Apps are created equal.

Some apps are well developed, while others aren’t. Do your research and find someone who can create the app you need for your marketing goals. I’ve discovered that 22Social is a really helpful third party vendor that works with business to develop Facebook Apps on many levels. Some of their apps can even generate leads 24/7!

It only takes a few seconds for the 22Social App to connect to your page and once installed you can build a custom looking mini webpage to gather leads as an app hosted within Facebook!

22Social has a very easy-to-use editor to help you build up your fanbase, funnel in leads and deliver information to your fans. The app also comes in mobile version.

How does the lead generation with 22Social work?

Leads on Facebook start with a “Like,” from a fan or potential customer. Next you collect their FB verified name, email, date of birth, city, state and Facebook ID. This information is emailed to you, stored in the SRM and can be passed to your autoresponder in your chosen email client.

 5 Ideas For Great Custom Apps

Still not sure if apps are right for you? Here are five ideas to get you started:

App 1: About Us App

An About Us App is a customizable web page within your Facebook page where you can introduce yourself and the members of your team to the public.

You can add media content such as videos and images; along with a summary of your expertise and the services you offer.

Including pictures of you or with your team is a great way to start a personal bond with your audience.

Make sure to include the following on your About Us App:

  • Contact form
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Address and Map of Your Local Office
  • List your services

You could also rename the About Us app to “Welcome” or “Our Story.”

App 2: Featured Listings Template

You can install a custom-made app that showcases current featured real estate listings similar to the Zillow Listing App.

App 3: Reviews

Reviews are important for people who want to do some background research even before contacting you. It gives them an assurance just by reading positive experiences from other clients who have worked with you.

Real testimonials help confirm your credibility as an agent. You can add a reviews app using Zillow absolutely for free!

When you install this app, make sure to ask your clients to use this for giving feedback after you make a sale.

App 4: Free Offer App

People love to get free information! This is a very natural and effective way to attract the clients you want. Fans love freebies.

All you would need to do is create a worksheet or downloadable checklist to entice fans. Some examples include:

  • The Best 10 Restaurants in Chicago to Take Your Kids On The Weekend
  • The Top 5 Exemplary Schools in Austin
  • The 10 Best Swimming Spots in Los Angeles

Offering freebies can grow your business since you are offering something  of value in exchange for a name and email addresses.

From there you can generate quality leads that can be used in your email marketing campaigns down the road.

App 5: Home Video Tours

This will take a little bit more work on your end, but can really pay off. Here is how to get started:

  • Create an app on 22Social
  • Choose the video template option
  • Pull in your video link from YouTube
  • Promote the Smart Link on your Facebook page or in Facebook Ads

Videos help a lot in people’s home buying decision. It allows them to get a 360 view of the house you are showcasing. Fans have a chance to get excited even before setting an appointment with you.

Here’s how to do a video tour page:

  • Pull the video into your Facebook Video App
  • Next, host the video on YouTube or other video hosting service provider
  • Use OnVedeo to create a video listing in seconds for only $9.95 per video.

Great apps you can install for free!

Getting started with Facebook Apps is easy. Here are some great tools you can use to get you up and running in no time:

  1. 22Social
  2. Realtor.com Social Connections App
  3. Shortstack – Note: They will only let you try one app for free before requiring payment.

HOW TO USE THE FACEBOOK EVENTS TOOL TO PROMOTE YOUR REAL ESTATE EVENTS

Facebook Events is a powerful tool, not only designed to invite friends, fans and potential customers to your check out your Facebook Page; but it’s a great way to keep audiences updated on details surrounding a particular event.

For example, if there are changes in location due to the weather, simply it let attendees know about it by posting an announcement on the Facebook Events page area. Or, if you need to update a time or venue, you can also do this right in the Facebook Events portal.

Let’s be honest, creating a Facebook Event is very easy. But, it’s promoting the event that can be tricky!

Tip: Prior to creating an official Facebook Event consider generating buzz and creating a sense of excitement and anticipation with some prospective guests. You can do this with the following steps:

  1. Create graphics and promotional materials before creating the Event on Facebook. Share this as a “sneak peek” with fans.
  2. Post an interest check on your Page, such as a teaser question to spark up conversation for the event. From there you can gauge how people may receive your event announcement.
  3. Create a group chat on Facebook and include the interested fans (those who commented on your interest check). Ask for suggestions or requests on ways to make the proposed event a success. Keep prospective guests in the loop with some of the background details of the upcoming event. This will help in maintaining the excitement and energy.
  4. You can now create a Facebook Event with the people in your group chat as your “core group”. Having more people excited to promote your event can produce better response in attendance.

OTHER TIPS TO OPTIMIZE YOUR FACEBOOK EVENT:

  1. Update your Cover Photo with the short link to the event itself. A new cover photo is a great way to promote your Event. Add a teaser text plus the short link to the event in the description of the photo once its uploaded.
  2. Ask your most active fans and peers to promote the event among their friends. Identify fans who regularly engage in your page. Send them private messages to help you promote your event. You can also ask permission from other related pages if they can promote your event link too.
  3. Make a friend list of people who might be interested to go to your event.
    In your personal profile, identify friends in your list who are interested, or at least will be willing to help you out promote your link. In your event, click Invite Friends> Search by Name> Select List. If you cannot see your list name, then click on “See More”. You can also send them an invitation over private message for a more personal touch.
  4. Write catchy posts to invite your page fans to the event. Insert the event to your content mix and post updates regarding your event to tease the audience. Don’t forget to include the Facebook Event short link so people can RSVP.
  5. Create teaser images about the event. For an open house, you can have a picture of the property with a sample captions such as, “Planning to move to ____ soon? Check out this dream home!”. Again, always include the short link to the event.
  6. Give “exclusive” backstage passes to the event. This is better experienced in grand openings or ceremonies of real estate projects. Guests love to have a VIP treatment, so you can offer them tickets or backstage passes to your event. These VIP’s get special freebies like drinks, parking assistance, raffle tickets, souvenirs, or a better table at the reception.
  7. Upload short videos as teasers. People want to know what to expect in an upcoming event. This will help them decide if the event is worth their time or not. For open houses, make a 20-30 second video teaser of the home. Think along the lines of the MTV show Cribs. No need for narration! Just shoot some  property footage on your iPhone or camera. Add some lively music background in the video for a professional touch. Then, upload it to the Facebook Event and you’re set! (And remember that all important event RSVP link on the video description!)

HOW TO PUT YOUR REAL ESTATE FACEBOOK PAGE ON AUTO PILOT

Updating your Real Estate Facebook Page on a regular basis is key to increasing audience engagement and awareness about your business.

When it comes to posting there are two schools of thought: Strategically post on your Facebook page 3-5 times a day, or post randomly whenever you have the time to login to Facebook.

Although, did you know there is a way to systematize and optimize your Facebook posts without spending a whole day on Facebook? This way you can spend more time on building your business and closing deals.

Before you start to schedule posts, it is important to be aware of optimal publishing times to ensure your fans are seeing content. Here is a quick guide to help you discover when is the best time to post on Facebook.

HOW DO YOU PUT YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE ON AUTO-PILOT?

There are two ways to automate posts on Facebook:

  1. You can use Facebook’s pre-scheduling feature or
  2. You can use 3rd party apps.

The Facebook Scheduling Tool

Facebook’s pre-scheduling tool allows you to set posts to publish at a later date and time. The tool corresponds to your default timezone, so it looks as if you posted manually. You can post as often as you need for a given period of time, for example a week in advance to a month!

While you can pre-schedule most post types, not everything can be scheduled. You can only schedule status posts, videos and photos. You won’t be able to batch schedule photo albums, Facebook events, questions, offers and milestones.

Here is how to use Facebook scheduler:

  1. Choose the type of post you want to create (ex: Status,Photo/Video) at the top of your Page’s Timeline
  2. Type in your content or post update. Don’t forget your links or call to action!
  3. Click the Schedule icon at bottom left
  4. Choose the date and time you want the post to appear
  5. Click “Schedule”

 

If you need to go back and edit your queued posts: On the Admin toolbar, click the “Activity” tab and then select “Scheduled Posts” on the left sidebar. Here you’ll see a list of all your upcoming posts and can edit the date, time and content of any post.

Third Party Scheduling Apps

If you want something more robust than the internal Facebook tool, apps such as Hootsuite, Post Planner and BufferApp are designed to help page admins with scheduling and managing social media posts.

Other benefits of 3rd party apps:

  • You can schedule updates on other social media sites such as Twitter or LinkedIn, in addition to Facebook
  • You can schedule bulk posts by just utilizing a .csv file. Here’s an inside look on how you can do that using the Hootsuite app.

Managing your Facebook page is not time-consuming if you just put it on auto-pilot!

If you have any questions about scheduling your posts on Facebook, I’d love to help you. Just leave a comment below.

Want to learn how to use Facebook to get a consistent source of leads online?  Sign up for my FREE video series FB Real Estate Pro and get instant access to three free videos!